@Jodecicry on Navigating Academia While Black and Finding a Community Online

shakira-evans@Jodecicry is 22, a grad student studying Media and Communications, and a hot mess. This week she talked to me about three of her favorite tweets, plus awards season, seeking community while at a predominantly white college, and the emotions that inspire her to tweet. In lieu of plugs, she’d like to direct any readers to this tweet thread on ways to help Syria.

@Jodecicry: I tweeted this during the Oscars when I was still a little bitter about La La Land doing so well at the Golden Globes, so the 99% of me that’s pure hater typed this out. I’m actually a fan of Gosling, I think he’s handsome and talented despite starring in one of the worst movies I’ve illegally streamed. My goal is to win an Emmy or an Oscar someday, so I pay real close attention to awards season, unfortunately for the people who follow me, that means I tweet through it, too. My favorite thing about this tweet was how many people responded saying it made no sense, but also made perfect sense.

Do you have a fave event in the year to tweet about?

As much as I love film and television award shows, I’d have to say the Grammys. Grammys night Twitter is always hilarious because musician stans are actually the most extra breed of human.

How has live tweeting changed over time for you?

A few years ago, when I didn’t have the following I currently do, I had no real concept of how someone should censor themselves online. Obviously, I’ve had to grow out of that to compensate for the platform I’ve gained, but I’m honestly still hesitant to say I’ve done so successfully.

I feel like I don’t tweet much about being a student, or maybe I’m wrong and I tweet about it too much, but basically, I’m interested in how black students navigate academia and its inherent antiblackness, you know? Like how we know when to code switch and when to tailor our thoughts and behavior to the environments we find ourselves in specifically when we’re students. It’s stressful and I’ve found a community online that understands that, I think. A lot of us are pretty much just joking through the stress I guess.

What are other characteristics you seek in your online communities?

I came to a predominately white campus in the middle of a predominately white town in Westchester, New York for grad school. I left all my family and closest (read: black) friends back home in Miami, so I have to admit I cling to Twitter now like some sort of lifeline. I mean I’ve always said black Twitter makes up 100% of the 30% of Twitter that’s actually funny, but I really appreciate that community now more than ever.

Beyond that I’ve found a lot of hilarious and talented women online that I admire a lot and its always refreshing to see them do their thing.

Who would you say the target audience for your tweets is? Do you tweet for anyone in particular?

Anything I do that’s not a direct or indirect result of my being a hot mess I do for black women and femmes. I wish I could give a longer or more nuanced answer, but that sums it up. I owe black women and femmes so much for contributing what they do to the culture that’s made me the person I am today and I hope I can pay them back for that effort somehow. And I don’t mean just by tweeting, I mean the work I want to do eventually with film and television, I want it all to, at least at its base level, benefit them.

This was my pinned tweet for a while and it actually upset a few people. Really what I meant by it was just I have a very particular sense of humor and for the most part, black people are the only ones who constantly manage to appeal to it.

What emotions most often inspire you to tweet?

I wish I could say I was one of those people who knows how to filter themselves online or knows that when they’re feeling down their immediate reaction shouldn’t be to share that with the world, but I’m 100% not that person. I probably tweet most when I’m stressed or anxious because it helps sometimes. I guess I’m used to using Twitter as a distraction, but also sometimes the TL is so good it manages to cheer me up. Also you’re never the only one feeling some type of way on Twitter, so it’s nice to be reminded that you’re not the only one going through it right now.

What are your fave and/or least fave interactions you’ve had with a stranger on Twitter?

One time back when I was still in my baby woke phase and I argued with people every day like some corny crusader, I got into it with someone who found my Instagram and started calling me these different variations of a poor activist. She was just going off under all my posts. That was my favorite interaction because I was like “wow, I have haters now, surely the next step is fame and a commercial contract with Sprite.” I also thought it was wild that she called me an activist because I was like… 18 at the time and still ignorant enough to think Amelia Earhart was black.

Jenny Nelson lives, writes, and performs in Brooklyn.

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